After discovering conductor Ernest Ansermet via the Decca Box Set of Stravinsky's Orchestral Works and his volume in the "Great Conductors of the Century" series (see my reviews), I knew I needed to get my hands on any and all recordings by this man! Several months ago I was fortunate enough to find this title of Ansermet conducting Haydn's "Paris" Symphonies in HMV, prior to their partnership with amazon.com. I am delighted that this disc has finally made it to the pages of amazon.com as well. Not only is this is a terrific recording, but it is also historically important, for these are the very first recordings ever made of Haydn's complete "Paris" Symphonies, done in 1962. While many conductors of the day would embellish the composer's scores, Ansermet always made a point of getting straight to the artist's original intentions. In many ways, this philosophy, and therefore this recording, forecasts the authentic-instruments movement. But make no mistake -- this is not some technically perfect and perfectly boring rendition. Ansermet's account is full of life and feeling, and captured in brilliant golden-age stereo, it is certainly on par with later great accounts by Bernstein and Dorati (see my reviews). And don't think this title is in anyway inferior because it is only available as an import. The only reason that Decca did not release this "Double Decca" in the States is because it directly competes with their own Dorati title mentioned above. Certainly, if Decca can find room for both the Dorati and Ansermet in its catalog, you can too.